Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I Double-Dog Dare You To Prosecute Trolls

When the alert first sounded across the 'sphere about the Anonymous Annoyance Internet Prohibition, my first thought was something like "Oh, that's really stupid. Either I don't understand the case law here or this will get struck down instantly."

The first blogger to register skepticism, as far as I know, was TAPPED's Garance Franke-Ruta: here and here. Her general argumentative line was then taken up (without attribution, I note) by Orin Kerr of Volokh.

First amendment extremist Eugene Volokh, however, details his concerns with the statute, here most substantively and as an important footnote here. Volokh's central point is that extending telephone-based harrassment laws to internet technology is sloppy and dangerous because the internet, as a single-user-to-multiple-user techology is a fundamentally more public kind of communication.

Here's what I'm hoping for:

First, a clear precedent of a victim deserving of protection from a cyber-stalker receiving protection under this statute.

Next, a completely crazy anti-troll lawsuit that brings tens of thousands of netizens in their ghoulish splendor onto the Mall! With cellphone-coordinated zombie games near the White House--because I hear the Service Service has a really good sense of fun about that sort of thing.


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